The end of this year’s professional indemnity insurance renewal period appears to have prompted a fresh wave of mergers.

Practices across England and Wales announced mergers in advance of the 1 October renewal deadline still adhered to by most firms, as they sought to bolster their size and client base.

Announcements of deals included:

  • Brabners has acquired the private client and commercial law practice Lawson Coppock & Hart with effect on 1 November;
  • Spratt Endicott and Alfred Truman Solicitors have merged to form a firm with more than 100 staff in Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire;
  • Sheffield firm Bell & Buxton has  merged with commercial firm Morton Price;
  • South-east firm Dutton Gregory has joined with Dorset practice RWPS Law;
  • London niche practice Barker Gillette will merge with Essex firm Lucas McMullan Jacobs on 1 November.

A paper from accountant EY last week predicted that the pace of mergers would pick up. ‘Initially, it will be the smaller, general practice firms that might feel the impact of the low-cost, high-volume operators looking to enter the market for routine legal services. In response, we’re likely to see a continuing consolidation of smaller firms.’